The ACN Match Review – Queens Park Rangers (h) | OneFootball

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·26 November 2023

The ACN Match Review – Queens Park Rangers (h)

Article image:The ACN Match Review – Queens Park Rangers (h)

The atmosphere

Roll up! Roll up! Welcome to Wagner’s Webber-less Winter Wonderland! For just £30* you too can marvel at our random wingers and widemen running free in their natural habitat; watch in awe as our collection of festive donkeys attempt to hoof a football around their field; gasp as one of them actually scores a goal!

Like all shit christmas attractions, you’ll find us on the edge of a soulless retail park and we guarantee you’ll go home disappointed – or your money back!**

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*Please note: Annual season ticket holders are granted exclusively weekly access to the attraction. **Complaints to management about standard of entertainment will be ignored and result in price increase for 24/25.

The line-up

Would a different line up have made this awful match any better? I doubt it. But welcome back Ashley Barnes, you have been much missed. Danny Baaaaaatth and that guy Duffy we all agreed was the saviour of our back line but is somehow now THE WORST DEFENDER IN THE WORLD (© all social media) combined with Barnes to treble the shithousery and thank heavens for that, or we’d have lost this game 4-0.

Jonathan Rowe was unfit and you suspect Fassenacht would’ve been on the bench had Rowe started, which is a shame because he showed glimpses today of the talented, experienced international player we spent quite a lot of money on.

Hurrah moment

Hwang’s goal was expertly taken and it needed to be, because it was pretty much the only clear chance we had.

Boooo moment

This was on 18 minutes, two before our goal was scored, when yet another piss-poor, misplaced pass was given away to QPR, at which point someone to my right sighed “oh… boo,” like it was just a resigned, natural outbreath. No gusto, no bitterness, just a half-arsed natural reaction that slipped out of him. That, my friends, sums up this match entirely.

Hero of the match

Ashley Barnes reminded us of how important it is to hang on to a lead. The game was drifting into the final ten minutes and there was a very real danger of an equaliser. But no, Barnes was having none of it. He pressed, pushed, passed and generally raised City’s energy levels by about 500% and suddenly we looked an awful lot better than QPR.

It’s a reminder of how much we need that energy, and how much we’ve missed that mentality. Also how much Wagner relied on him and Sargent to defend from the front, and how foolish it’s been not having a way of dealing with their absence.

Our post-match takeaway

I’m not one for overstatement but… this was genuinely one of the worst games of football I’ve watched at Carrow Road. It was terrible. No one came out of it well. It looked like two teams trying to avoid relegation but not avoiding it very well.

At one point it was like a scene from a slapstick silent movie: players running into each other; punting the ball in the wrong direction; getting in each other’s way; the referee running around dementedly blowing his whistle like some 1920s comedy policeman. At one point I think he was just booking players for being rubbish, which was not entirely unfair.

And yet here we are, two wins on the bounce and five points off sixth place. I don’t really know what to make of it. It can only get better, yet I can’t see it getting any better. Wagner’s Winter Wonderland is here to stay and we’re all invited, whether we like it or not.

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